May Planting In The Southern Hemisphere

Winter crops should be planted out during May in the cool, temperate regions of the Southern Hemisphere—Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina, Uruguay and Chile.

You can still plant broad beans through the fall, but now is the time to concentrate on planting your winter crops: hearting varieties of lettuce, carrots, spinach, radishes, and peas.

Crops still in the ground such as broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts will need staking if they start to tilt or if the weather becomes breezy.

Cut back asparagus to the ground now and add compost and straw to protect them through the winter.

Map your garden and begin planning crop rotations and new beds for next spring.

Check your fruit trees for any stragglers. Don’t let stone fruit sit on the tree through the winter; they could harbor insects and disease. Also cut out the old wood from berry fruits so that new canes can emerge.

Young citrus should be protected when the weather turns chilly.

If you want to build the soil this winter, plant cover crops such as vetch, Austrian winter peas, and burr clover now.

Here is a list of the vegetable crops that you can sow this month in the temperate, cold, tropical and sub-tropical regions of the Southern Hemisphere:

Temperate regions: artichoke suckers, broad beans, cress, lettuce, mustard, onions, peas, radish, shallots, spinach, and spring onion.

Cold regions: cress, lettuce, shallots, and spinach.

Tropical and sub-tropical regions: asparagus, beans, beetroot, broad beans, buckwheat, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, cress, endive, lettuce, mustard, onions, parsnip, peas, potatoes, radish, shallots, silverbeet (Swiss chard), spinach, spring onion, strawberry runners, tomato, and turnip.

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. has more than 10 million visitors each year.

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